by Chayse Lee


Looking for a first car is a hard process for a young high school student. When looking for a car, you have to decide what your lifestyle consists of? Myself, I lived in town and hauled stuff like bark, rock, and gravel for a side job. My first truck was a Dodge Dakota, because Dodge’s torque rating was pretty high considering how much I paid for the truck.

The next question you must ask yourself is what your spending limit is. My first car’s spending limit was one thousand dollars, but i looked for a twelve hundred dollar car. Your doing this because you can bargain your way down and get a better car.

When you find the car you like, start doing research on the car. Look for reviews and ratings. There are many websites that will tell you what the car is worth and give reviews about the car.

Next, is to go check it out! When you’re looking at the car, you don’t even want to get into the car, going to want to get under the car. you’re looking for anything leaking around the motor. If you do see a leak, where it is located. If it’s the front of the motor, it could be a easy fix. If the leak is near the transmission, then don’t even think of buying the car. Get up and walk away. If there is a leak here, this is the rear main seal. The only way to fix this is to pull the motor and redo the gasket.

If you see no leaks, then you’re going to be grabbing some stuff. If the vehicle is a 4X4 then you’re going to want to shake the yoke (front driveline) front to back. If there is no slop in it, then that’s good. If there is slop, it could be the driveline or the transfer case.

Now if everything is good on the down low, go ahead and hop in the car and start her up. When you start it up. And it’s warm, then the RPS should be between five hundred and seven hundred. You want to listen to how long it takes to turn over. If it takes longer than three seconds, the starter will need to be replaced. Hop out of the car and press down real fast and watch the reaction time of the car to hop back up. This tests the shocks and struts; the car should pop right back up and stop, or go down a tiny bit.

Now it’s time for the light check. All lights should work. If not ask about it. It could be the bulb, or it could be the wiring. Now hop in the car and go for a drive. What you’re looking for is if there is any slop (wiggle room) in the steering wheel. This could be a easy or a hard and expensive fix. As you’re driving, you’re looking at the cluster (dash, lights, and gauges). Make sure everything is working. Listen to the RPMs and watch them on the cluster. Your car should shift gears at about twentyfive to thirty five thousand RPMs. Now if it’s a 4×4, you’re going to want to check this on a dirt road or gravel. It should shift in smoothly and you should not hear any wines or squeals. Now on your way back you’re going to need a straightaway. Slow down to twenty MPH, then punch it! This should test the computer and the tranny, and should let your car shift at around forty to sixty thousand RPMs. Once you’re up to about forty mph, Slow down and let go of the steering wheel, check if it pulls to the right or left. If there is a pull, then the alignment is off. But if everything checks out now, it’s the bargaining stage.

You’re trying to get the lowest price for the car. Everyone has there own way of bargaining, but if i were you, I would point out all the bad features of the car. Keep trying to get them to the bottom dollar. Once you got them down, congrats’ You now own your first car! Now go register it in the DMV, ASAP.